Sep 13 2020

– Taste and Productivity of Local Garden Produce Suffers in Our Wildfire Smoke –

“Once the air clears of smoke, spray the leaves and fruit gently with water and apply fertilizer to promote healthy roots and foliage.”

Commentary from Oregon:

“Similar to humans, plants are affected by fine particles in smoke that consist of ash, partially consumed fuel, water droplets and hundreds of chemical compounds, including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, and small amounts of nitrogen oxide. These particles can clog the plant’s stomata, tiny pores that enable the plant to absorb carbon dioxide and other gases from the atmosphere and release oxygen. Prolonged blockage can suffocate the plant.

In addition, studies have shown that even short-term exposure to smoke destroys chlorophyll in plants and, thus, reduces their ability to carry out photosynthesis by as much as 50 percent. The result is oxygen-deprived plants that are stressed, weakened, and may look wilted and washed out. Once the plant has switched to survival mode, fruiting and ripening slows down, which may be why my friend said her corn crop yield was “puny” two years ago when smoke hung in the valley for several weeks. Prolonged exposure to smoke may also affect the taste of garden produce.”  The Mail Tribune, Oregon, Aug 9, 2015

Science News December 21, 2018 reported:

A pioneering new study by Professor Nadine Unger of the University of Exeter and Professor Xu Yue of the Institute of Atmospheric Physics in Beijing, has revealed that pollutants released by the devastating wildfires can affect crop and vegetation growth hundreds of kilometres from the fire impact zone.

The study examined how ozone and aerosols — two by-product pollutants of wildfires — influences healthy plant growth in areas that are seemingly unaffected by the destructive natural disasters.

It found that there was a significant reduction in plant productivity in areas far away from the fire’s borders. The study suggests that fire pollution could pose an increasing threat to regional, and even global, productivity in the warming future world.

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Sep 13 2020

Racial Segregation and Housing in Piedmont:

How Did We Get Here? What Can We Do About It?

A panel discussion organized by the Piedmont Racial Equity Campaign, Co-sponsored by Piedmont Appreciating Diversity Committee and the League of Women Voters of Piedmont.

Thursday, September 24, 2020, 7-8:30 pm on Zoom

Register here

As part of the ongoing struggle to achieve racial equity and justice, integrating and diversifying our neighborhoods are essential tasks. A recent UC Berkeley report on Racial Segregation in the SF Bay Area demonstrates that residential segregation is alive and well in the Bay Area. How did we get here? What can we do about it? Join us for a Zoom panel addressing the history of racial segregation and housing in Piedmont, and steps that our city can take to achieve a more equitable future.


Gloria Bruce

Executive Director, East Bay Housing Organizations (EBHO). EBHO is the leading advocacy coalition promoting affordable housing in Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.

Irene Cheng

Associate Professor, California College of the Arts, and co-editor, Race and Modern Architecture: A Critical History from the Enlightenment to the Present

Carol Galante

I. Donald Terner Distinguished Professor in Affordable Housing and Urban Policy, UC Berkeley, and Director of the Terner Center for Housing Innovation. Former Federal Housing Commissioner at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama.

Moderated by Sarah Karlinsky, Senior Policy Advisor, SPUR (the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association)

For more information: email

Sep 13 2020

A 2013 study by the Water Research Foundation on the effects of Wildfires on water covered many aspects including smoke.  Read the report here.

Some Piedmonters capture rainwater in winter to use for watering their garden in summer.  For most this water was already used and their rain barrels are empty.   The Health Department of Western Australia offered the following advice during their wildfires:

Water in rainwater tanks on your property can be contaminated during or after a bushfire, either indirectly by ash, smoke, debris or directly by fire and fire fighting activities.

If there is any risk of contamination, do not use water from your rainwater tank for the following activities:

  • drinking
  • preparing foods
  • making ice
  • washing and bathing
  • cleaning teeth
  • watering animals.

Read more here.

Sep 9 2020

We understand that now more than ever we all need to get out and be active in our parks.

That is why the City has decided to reopen Linda Beach Playfield to the public starting Monday, September 14. We are asking you for your help in keeping this neighborhood park open and safe for all users by wearing a face covering, practicing social distancing, and not sharing sports equipment with members outside your household. Only one entrance, located on Linda Avenue under the Oakland Avenue Bridge, will be opened for park access.

During public use hours, a Park Ambassador will be at the entrance and will remind users of and enforce COVID-19 safety requirements.

Linda Beach Playfield will be open for public use beginning on Monday, September 14th during these times:

Monday-Friday: 10:30 am3 pm

Saturday: 3:00 pmDusk

Sunday: 9:0011:30 am

Linda Beach Playfield will also be used by Recreation Department and youth sports organizations at times other than the above times, by permit only. No public use is allowed outside of the times above.

Please contact the Piedmont Recreation Department at (510) 420-3070 or with questions.

Announcement: Piedmont Recreation Department
Sep 9 2020

City Council Seeks Volunteers for New Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee

Deadline: Friday, September 25, 2020

Have ideas for pedestrian or bicycle safety, sidewalks, access, streets, parked vehicles, stop signs, etc.?

The City Council of Piedmont is looking for a few talented volunteers to serve on the Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee which will assist in the preparation of the City’s updated Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan (PBMP). This process is expected to begin in October 2020 and go through May 2021.

The efforts of the Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee will focus on assisting staff and City consultants with the development of the PBMP Update, specifically in reviewing and providing feedback on the following materials:

1. Community needs assessment.

2. Draft action plan of recommendations.

3. Opportunities for public participation and input regarding the draft action plan of recommendations.

4. Public draft of the PBMP Update document.

5. Opportunities for public participation and input regarding the public draft of the PBMP Update document.

In establishing this committee, the City Council called out two specific groups it is looking to see represented on the Committee, in addition to residents:

• Piedmont High School and Millennium High School Students Residing in Piedmont

• Current or Former Members of the Planning Commission, Public Safety Committee, and/or CIP Review Committee

Interested residents may view the City Council resolution establishing the Pedestrian and Bicycle Advisory Committee, download the Application for Appointive Vacancy, and/or apply online on the City’s web site at Applications are due to City Hall on or before the deadline of Friday, September 25th at 5:00 p.m.  See links below.

Interviews with the City Council for these positions will be scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, September 30, 2020. No appointments will be made without a Council interview.

Residents with questions are invited to contact the City Clerk’s office at (510) 420-3040.

Notice of Appointive Vacancies 2020 – PBAC

Commission Application 2020 PBAC

2020-09-04 PBAC Recruitment

Sep 9 2020

The Wellness Center Support Committee is pleased to announce the first annual Walk for Wellness, the largest yearly fundraiser for Piedmont Unified School District’s Wellness Center.  Walk for Wellness will take place September 21-27, and is an inclusive, accessible and socially-distanced event open to the entire Piedmont community.Event co-chairs KeriAnne Hohener and Nicki Gilbert expect that in future years Walk for Wellness will be a fundraiser that will bring the community together in person to celebrate the Wellness Center and advocate for student mental health.

This year, participants will receive a Walk for Wellness visor and access to eight maps detailing various walks around town. “Families and small groups of friends should complete as many of the suggested walks as possible during the week of September 21,” Gilbert said. “And everyone should post photos from their walks to @piedmontwellness on Instagram!” “We hope to raise much-needed funding for the Wellness Center while increasing awareness of the need for mental health services for our students,” Hohener added.

The PUSD Wellness Center provides confidential, free on-campus and online counseling to all Piedmont High School, Millennium High School and Piedmont Middle School students. The Wellness Center helps students manage common emotional and social challenges of middle and high school including stress, depression, grief, family or friendship conflicts, and substance use concerns. Approximately one third of high school and one quarter of middle school students receive counseling at the Wellness Center each year.

The Wellness Center Support Committee is grateful to the more than 30 Piedmont families who have sponsored Walk for Wellness so far, and to Bay Design & Build, The Cooper Group, Harmless Harvest, Mulberry’s Market, Niantic and Xantrion for their generous corporate sponsorship of Walk for Wellness.

For event registration and donation information, visit or email

Sep 8 2020

Connie Herrick: City Council Candidate

Piedmont has been my home for 51 years. I feel deeply fortunate to have lived the majority of my life in our wonderful City. My parents and I settled in Piedmont in 1969. I attended Piedmont Middle School and graduated Piedmont High in 1975.

My husband Mark and I met 40 years ago in San Francisco. We purchased our Greenbank home in 1992. Our son Matt attended Beach Elementary, PMS and PHS. He graduated from USC currently works as a senior product manager at Electronic Arts. And we have Kapo, our German Shepherd, a recently retired search and rescue dog.

When Matt was growing up, I was a full-time working mom. I volunteered as a classroom helper, gave presentations on wellness, drove for fieldtrips, soccer and water polo games, and served as a medic for our soccer team. Mark and I are active in our newly renamed Community Resiliency Group (formerly known as Neighborhood Watch). Mark offers free, weekly meditation classes to our community.

I have a 40 year career in both the private and non-profit sectors of healthcare, financial services and marketing communications. My CV is online at I earned my MBA from the University of San Francisco and hold a Master of Science in Traditional Chinese Medicine. I’ve been a Licensed Acupuncturist for over 12 years, and served as Executive Director for the Charlotte Maxwell Clinic, volunteering my treatment services for underserved, low-income women with cancer in Oakland.

Running for City Council was a decision I made more with my heart than my head. Living in unprecedented times has not been easy for any of us. Every day we face challenges to our health, safety and financial stability. So I felt that If there was ever a time to step up, contribute and effect positive change, it was now.

We need thoughtful decisions backed by solid critical thinking skills to drive the progress of our City. Piedmont services and capital projects must be affordable for all our citizens, represent what the majority wants and strategically be what is best for the future of our City. I thought about the skills I’ve amassed over a 40 year career and realized that my financial expertise, operational experience and solution based project management approach would well serve our City.

And, as a longtime Piedmonter, I have an unwavering dedication to maximizing every dollar we pay in property taxes. And I am now at a time in my life where I am able and want to volunteer my experience, skills, time and energy to work for you and our City. Most of all, I have a strong desire to give back and a deep commitment to volunteerism and civic duty. That is the root of why I feel a strong pull to serve and run for office.

I hope you will take a moment and visit my website:

Thank you!

Connie Herrick, Candidate for Piedmont City Council

1 Comment »
Sep 8 2020

September 8, 2020

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Over the last decade, I have had the privilege of working with Hilary Cooper on Parent Club Boards, the Giving Campaign, and Citywide parcel tax initiatives. Her impact has been significant and she is exceptionally well qualified to serve as a PUSD Board of Education Member. Today, I would like to look beyond her resume and share the leadership qualities that make her an ideal candidate.

Hilary’s Leadership

Hilary’s Vision for our schools is innovative and practical. As an educator, she sees opportunities for student engagement, fundraising, curriculum, and professional development. She is financially savvy and knows how to allocate resources where it makes a difference.

Hilary communicates by listening first then speaking. She asks great questions to collaborate with diverse perspectives and facilitate inclusive action. As a result, her curiosity gives constituents the opportunity to be involved in the decision-making process and support outcomes.

Hilary is passionate about her commitment to our schools and her enthusiasm is contagious. She is the first to “roll up her sleeves” to get things done and when she reaches out to engage others…. I always say YES!

Please join me and say YES to Hilary’s campaign. Engage in the conversation about PUSD efforts for school safety, innovative teaching and learning modalities, state funding/budget allocations, co-curricular programs, and academic excellence. Check out her website to see how you can get involved at

In closing, I am a PHS alum and our children have benefited from Piedmont schools. We need to ensure the future of our schools for many generations to come and Hilary Cooper has the vision, communication skills, and passion to make it happen.

Go Highlanders!

Mary Alice McNeil

Sep 8 2020

– Bay Area Air Quality District Warns Unhealthy Air Continues –

The Air District is extending the Spare the Air Alert for ozone, or smog, through  Wednesday, September 9. This sets a new record of 23 consecutive Spare the Air Alert days.

To find out whether a Spare the Air Alert is in effect:

  • Visit the Spare the Air website
  • Call 1-800-HELP-AIR, or 1-877-4NO-BURN (466-2876) for wood-burning bans
  • Download the Spare the Air app for iPhone or Android and check the air quality status on your smart phone
  • Sign up for Air Alert notifications by email
  • Connect with Spare the Air on social media (see social media links at top right of Spare the Air website)
  • Subscribe to Spare the Air Text Alerts



Sep 5 2020

On Tuesday, September 8, 2020, following the Labor Day weekend, the City Council will be updated by the staff on keeping the pool  closed at this time.  A staff report informs the public and Council that the condition of the Piedmont Municipal Pool is in disrepair, including a broken heater and other factors, making it inappropriate for the pool to be reopened at this time.  The City Council will consider the matter at the September 8 meeting. 

Read the staff report for the September 8th meeting:  >Pool 92020 Update

Piedmont Municipal Pool

Council Meeting, September 8, 6:00 PM,  Read how to watch and participate in the meeting by clicking the link below: